Monday, October 14, 2013

Genesis 3:20-24 Leaving the Garden

"Adam named his wife Eve,
because she would become the mother of all the living.

The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
And the LORD God said, 
'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.
He must not be allowed to reach out his hand
and take also of the tree of life
and eat, and live forever.'

So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden
to work the ground from which he had been taken.
After he drove the man out,
he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim
and a flaming sword flashing back and forth
to guard the way to the tree of life."

Genesis 3:20-24 (NIV)

This is a short passage, but it is really packed full of many things.

First of all, Adam gives his wife a name which indicates that she would become the 'mother' of all the humans who were yet to come:  Eve.  Unlike the naming of the animals, which indicated Adam's dominion over them, Adam chose to give Eve a name which honored her for her position.

Next, God made clothes for Adam and Eve.  This was a very gracious act, covering their nakedness and providing protection from the elements.  One thing which we don't usually dwell upon is that, in order to do so, an animal had to be slain.  That must have been a rather solemn event; I wonder if God used that opportunity to explain to Adam and Eve the concept of death, for they had never seen it before.

Perhaps God explained the concept of sacrifice, and the things which He wished them to do when they wished to make offerings to Him in the future, for in the next chapter of Genesis, their sons seem to have at least some understanding of what is expected of them in this area.

God says that now that mankind has the knowledge of good and evil, they must not be allowed to eat from the tree of life, lest they live forever.  It is not that God is frightened of what they can accomplish, but he may be limiting their potential for evil.  Now that they have to struggle with the sinful nature, it would not be good for them to have an unlimited lifespan as well, lest they become proud and think that they do not need God for anything.  Also, perhaps God is using this limitation upon their lifespans to draw people back to Himself.   Knowing that they were beings with a limited lifespan might make mankind want to seek God, who holds their lives in His hand, and who can give eternal life.

The LORD banishes Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.  To guard against anyone trying to sneak back in, cherubim were stationed at the east side of the Garden, armed with a flaming sword which flashed back and forth, guarding the way to the tree of life.  

No comments:

Post a Comment